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High-wire walk in England: Wish I were there!

March 03, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
(Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty…)

How often do you get to see a high-wire act that's not inside a big top?

Helen Skelton went the distance Monday on a tightrope strung between two chimney towers at the Battersea Power Station in London.

Skelton, a TV presenter on the British kiddie show "Blue Peter," told the British media that she was inspired by the original man on wire Philippe Petit who, in 1974, walked across a tightrope between the Twin Towers in New York City.

Here's how the two daredevil firsts compare, according to media reports and the documentary "Man on Wire":

Battersea Power Station
London

Feb. 28, 2011
216 feet above ground
No net, but wore a safety harness
Took about 11 minutes, single crossing  Official event to raise money for charity

Twin Towers World Trade Center
New York City

Aug. 7, 1974
1,350 feet above ground
No net, no harness
Took about 45 minutes, eight crossingsIllegal event that was planned with friends

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